The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake (2024)

A tried-and-true family recipe for velvety tender chocolate cake with old-fashioned cocoa icing poured on while the cake is still warm.



This cake is so decadently delicious and sinfully addictive that we call it the dang devil cake! When you make it you won’t be able to stay out of it because it’s the devil, I tell ya!

The last time Mama brought this over to the house it was setting on the kitchen counter most of the afternoon while we visited and I cooked supper. I’d been looking at it most of the day and hadn’t let it tempt me too terribly.

Because I’d forgotten. I forgot it’s the dang devil!

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We ate supper and were cleaning up the kitchen and, even though I was full as a tick, I grabbed a butter knife and cut out a little square of the cake so I could get a taste. And then I cut another one. And then another one.

Then Baby Girl came through and I snuck her a little piece. Then she ate another.

Then Mama realized what was happening and before she could open her mouth to scold us, I whacked off a little square of the cake and popped it in her mouth.

And the three of us stood in my kitchen haphazardly carving that poor cake up one bite-sized piece at a time until we’d knocked about a quarter of it down.

Lawzamercy.It’s the dang devil!

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This is one of those recipes that, at a glance, looks pretty good but, honestly, doesn’t look like anything spectacular. What you can’t tell by looking at it is that it has the velvety, tender texture of a petit four.

Remember petit fours? I mean the good ones you had to order weeks ahead from that special bakery? Back when women still served them at showers? I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a real, scratch-made petit four. When did we stop doing that?

It’s one of those homemade recipes that’s genuinely WORTH the effort. You get to feel super proud of something you made 100% from scratch.

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Don't glance at the recipe and let the length of it scare you off. Most of the ingredients for the cake and the icing are the same (I just list them out separately to make it easy to follow along).

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Black coffee (or water)
  • Buttermilk or milk
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar

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Do I have to heat the butter, coffee and cocoa powder on the stove? 100% yes!! By doing so we are “blooming” the cocoa powder. Blooming "opens up" the cocoa powder. Cocoa powder contains ground endosperm of the cocoa bean, many particles of which are still enclosed in pieces of membrane and seed coat which act like a barrier between the cocoa solids and our taste buds. Boiling liquid releases the cocoa and enhances the flavor by almost double.

Do I have to use coffee? Will the cake taste like it? You don’t have to use coffee but it compliments the chocolate so well and really adds a deeper level of flavor. The cake will not taste like coffee. I promise!

Can I skip sifting the powdered sugar for the icing? You can but you might regret it because your icing will very likely have little white nuggets of hard sugar in it.

Can I make this in a13x9 pan instead? Unfortunately, no. The batter is very thin and will not cook properly in a smaller pan.

Can I use an 18x13 pan if I don’t have a 10x15? Yes! Reduce the cooking time to 15-17 minutes.

Recipe for The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake (5)

The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake (6)

The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake

The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake (7)

Yield: 15-25 Servings

Author: Mandy Rivers | South Your Mouth

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 20 MinTotal time: 40 Min

A velvety, tender, perfectly chocolate Texas sheet cake made from a tried-and-true family recipe perfect for entertaining or just because!


For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks butter (real, salted)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup black coffee or water
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Icing:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (real, salted)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1-lb box powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder


For the Cake:

  1. Grease a 10x15 baking pan (or spray with cooking spray) and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to incorporate ingredients then set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan then whisk in cocoa powder and black coffee until smooth. Stir and heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract in a small bowl then mix well and set aside.
  5. Pour hot cocoa power mixture into bowl with flour mixture then stir to incorporate. Add buttermilk mixture then whisk all ingredients together for one minute.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan then bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven then prepare icing. Don't make the icing ahead of time as the cake does need to cool a little before pouring on the icing.

For the Icing:

  1. Combine milk, butter and salt in a small saucepan then heat until simmering. Remove from heat then stir in vanilla extract.
  2. Meanwhile, sift together powdered sugar and cocoa into a large mixing bowl (the sifting is optional but it prevents lumps). Pour hot milk/butter mixture into bowl with powdered sugar and cocoa powder then stir with a spoon until smooth. Whisking the mixture will cause air bubbles in the icing.
  3. Wait 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then pour icing over warm cake.
  4. Let cake rest for a few hours before serving to ensure the icing sets up some before cutting the cake.
  5. Once the cake is cool, cover then store at room temperature.


  • You can also prepare this in 18x13 half-sheet cake pan. If you do, reduce the baking time to 15-17 minutes then test with a toothpick for doneness.
  • A 10x15 pan is a traditional jellyroll pan. If your pan is very shallow, you may not be able to fit all of the icing on your cake (most are – Mama’s is – that’s ok) just include as much as will fit or let the icing cool a bit before adding to the cake so that it pours thicker.
  • I bought a 10x15x2 pan specifically for making this cake so that the icing goes on easy-peasy (traditional jellyroll pans are 10x15x1).
  • No buttermilk? No problem! Add 1.5 teaspoons white vinegar to a small measuring pitcher then add milk until the total volume measures 1/2 cup. Let mixture set 10 minutes before using.
  • Feel free to top the icing with chopped pecans or sprinkles or mix finely chopped pecans into the icing before pouring over cake.

Images and text © South Your Mouth LLC 2019

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The BEST Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake (2024)
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